A letter of demand (LOD) is a formal letter that lists out a set of demands for the recipient to comply with. A letter of demand is usually sent by a lawyer on behalf of their clients and will often threaten additional legal action if the demands of the letter are not satisfied within a stated period of time.
A letter of demand can be sent for many purposes, not just the recovery of money. Below is some common examples:
- Requesting the payment of an overdue invoice.
- Requesting the re-payment of money that was loaned to the debtor.
- Removal of defamatory content, for example on social media or a website.
- Requesting the publication of a formal apology, for example, a retraction and apology in a newspaper or website.
- Removal of an image from social media or another source.
- To stop harassment or nuisance, including debt collectors, competitors, neighbors, etc
- To communicate a cease and desist that requests the adverse party to stop doing something. For example stealing and using your website content, infringing on your copyright etc
The contents of a demand letter
A letter of demand will usually contain the following types of information:
- The identity of the individual or organisation making the claim
- The identity of the lawyer and/or firm that is acting for the claimant and their contact details
- The matter in dispute and the material facts
- The claims that are put forward against the recipient of the demand letter
- The list of demands being made to satisfy the claimant
- The timeline by which the recipient must respond or satisfy the claimants demands
Can I write my own demand letter?
Yes, anyone can technically write and send a demand letter. There are many advantages to leveraging a law firm for this service, these include:
- A letter of demand is not necessarily an expensive undertaking, it may be a small price to pay relative to the cost of not getting the response you’re looking for.
- A law firm is not emotionally attached to your situation and allows them to review the facts and recommend the most appropriate next steps.
- Law firms have significant experience in drafting effective letters of demand, negating any time and effort required on your part to research and create your own demand letter.
- The issuance of a demand letter from a law firm will include the law firms their letterhead. It demonstrates to the debtor that you have hired a professional third party to take up action, and this will give your demands more weight.